Author: Thorsteinn Mar

10 tips to become a better Game Master

Do you sometimes watch the superstar dungeon masters and wish you could be more like them? Do you often ponder how your games could become even better. Here are 10 tips to become a better game master. I’m on a constant lookout for blogs and posts about game mastering. Even after 25 years of gaming I still feel I’m learning and watching game masters like Matthew Mercer, Chris Perkins or Kim Hidalgo makes me want to get even better. So, here are a few things that I have picked up through the years and have helped me seeing what...

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Railroading is not always a bad thing

Many roleplayers frown upon railroading and in the last few years the sandbox setup for adventures and narratives has become something that many game masters strive for. But is railroading always bad? Are plots that are heavily linear worse than plots of sandbox modules? Last week I ran a game in a high school, as part of a fantasy and science fiction course. During a break in the game, the teacher in the course who partook in the game told me about his favourite roleplaying session. It happened to have been run by a fellow Yawning Portal author, Helgi,...

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The MP who plays D&D

Bjorn Levi Gunnarsson is an Icelandic MP for the Pirate Party but also an avid roleplayer. He says that being a roleplayer can be really helpful while working in the Parliament. Perhaps more politicians should be roleplayers? Let’s hear from the MP who plays D&D. A little while ago we had a small roleplaying convention in Iceland. As such, Icelandic roleplaying conventions are small and most of the participants know each other by name. Still, many great games were played there and the convention was one of the largest for years. One of the participants frequenting these conventions, both...

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Creating suspense

Creating suspense in roleplaying games is not easy. Making sure that your narrative contains a build-up and climaxes in the end takes years of practice. Here are a few tips. Atmosphere and suspense are something that most game masters strife to attain every time they raise the screen in front of them. After all, it helps with player immersion and makes it easier for the players to get in the right mood for the game. Having your players eyeing every roll, fearing for their characters and even getting so excited they start cheering like football players every time they...

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Return of the Warlock – Darkness over Kryptgarden

Darkness over Kryptgarden is a new Adventure Path by Yawning Portal. The second module, Return of the Warlock, is now available on dmsguild.com. The module is intended for 4-6 3rd level player characters.  Return of the Warlock is designed for 4-6 level 2nd-3rd level PCs and non-evil alignment, a good balance of character classes is advised. It takes place in the Forgotten Realms, in the Dessarin Vale, as described in The Storm King’s Thunder and Princes of the Apocalypse. The module can be run using any setting where you’d find a small village and woodland mountains nearby. All encounters...

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Kara-Tur and Oriental Adventures

Kara-Tur was the first of a few non-European culture based settings TSR released in the 80’s. It was released in the wake of the success of Oriental Adventures by Gygax. Later the setting was merged with the Forgotten Realms setting. Following the success of the Dragonlance setting, people within TSR seemed to get more confidence in that they could release something that wasn’t just dungeons and more dungeons. In 1985 Gary Gygax wrote and TSR released Oriental Adventures. To put it short, critics loved the book. Not only because for the first time in D&D’s history you could play...

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Why choose OSR?

Old School Revival or OSR has attracted a lot of attention lately. But what is OSR and who is it for? Why do some players prefer older edition of roleplaying games like D&D, rather than the latest and highly successful 5th edition? Strange! My oldest kid is now the age I was when I started playing roleplaying games. It was way back in AD&D days, you know, only yesteryear. Or so to speak. Despite the fact that I practically haven’t aged a day (only gained a few pounds according to my wife) there have been so many changes to...

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Villains and Antagonists – Archetypes of evil

In almost every fantasy setting you have a stark distinction between good and evil, the light side and the dark side or chaos and law. In most cases the PC’s are meant to fight the evil and do good, or to play the heroes that eventually will save the day, one way or another. Perhaps one of the oldest tropes of fantasy roleplaying is the cliche about the evil overlord. The one who is evil incarnate and even before the narrative starts everyone, both players and characters alike, know and accept this. Sauron, Iuz, Kalak of Tyr, Takhisis and...

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The right number of NPCs

One of the questions I constantly ask myself when writing and designing modules, is how many NPCs are needed or how many NPCs are necessary. Good NPCs can greatly enrich a narrative but too few or too many can make things worse. What is the right number of NPCs? Perhaps one of the issues I most ponder on when I’m writing and designing modules is the number of NPCs, if I have too many or too few. I often find myself spending way too much time wondering if this or that NPC will actually add anything to the narrative,...

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Spilamót 24. mars

Laugardaginn 24. mars fer fram spilamót í félagsmiðstöðinni Öskju, Safamýri 5. Staðsetningin er framúrskarandi góð, enda verslanir og skyndibitastaðir í göngufæri. Húsið opnar kl. 12 og verður spilað eins langt fram á nótt og þörf krefur. English extract: Roleplay Con in Askja, Safamýri 5 March 24th. The con opens at 12:00 and we’ll play as long as we need to. There will be 2 sessions with 8 tables each. Players need to book a seat at tables beforehand and the rule is, first come, first serve. The entrance fee is 2000 kr. for 1 session, 2500 kr. for 2...

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